|"Disturbing the Peace" Watercolor on Paper|
By J. Artemus Gordon
An Old Man’s Book
Extraterrestrials were the old man’s favorite subject.
Most nights he roamed the countryside in search of otherworldly beings.
Information for his latest book he was seeking to glean and construct
Inspired by articles teeming with evidence for possible new life forms
Driven by curiosity, frowned upon by others with scorn
“What a peculiar old bloke,
Always tromping about during the late night’s hour,
Wonder what he’s searching for?”
The troop whispered from a nearby bush as they cowered.
The man was equipped with a rucksack filled with provisions,
And what all else, no one could tell.
An alarming amount of questions the man couldn’t quell
He gazed at the sky for long periods of time
Searching for any sign of lights flashing or sounds chiming.
He zigzagged and trekked onward almost aimlessly with no certain destination,
All while the nosey troop followed with indignation.
At last he arrived at a spot which resembled that of a low valley,
Where the trees and all growth seemed to recede.
He sat in the lifeless meadow, took out his rations and began to eat.
Not a lick of new insight had he found for his book,
At this time he was most ready to go home,
But jumped with a startled look,
For above in the star-blotted sky flew forth the most curious drone.
It spun in circles on a tilted axis.
It whirred, it hovered, it hummed with madness.
As one can assume the troop had quite dispersed,
For the show didn’t take very long to chase the group
Clean back to their homes,
Meanwhile the old man still sat all alone.
He absorbed the spectacle, never to lose in his mind.
The new sighting was enough to ready his book and to bind.
However, the apparatus began to open,
And out came a bridge with a blinding light that lashed out with force.
The man could see nothing, and all at once couldn’t feel.
The light retracted and so did the bridge for good.
All that remains of the old man are his glasses
Nestled in the meadow where his new comrades had frequented in the luminous apparatus.
None of the nosey troop members have disclosed any words on the events
In which they so willingly abandoned the old man,
For his family often questions his disappearance,
But most are too guilty while others say good riddance.
Poet’s Notes: My husband and I are avid documentary watchers, and aliens and the paranormal fascinate me the most. In the poem, I try to help the reader envision the old man as a recluse who is obsessed with aliens and with writing books on them. The meadow where no life seems to grow is actually a large crop circle that the man stumbles upon and finds his source of interest out of nowhere.
Editor’s Note: Until this year, I would not have chosen to publish a poem like "An Old Man's Book" but I have expanded the mission of Songs of Eretz to include publishing riveting prosaic narrative poems such as this one.